Bring back the hereditaries - Credit, UK Parliament, public domain

The Electoral Reform Society is having a whine about the manner in which the House of Lords is dominated by London centric over achievers and graspers. Well, yes, that’s something that’s going to happen with an appointed house, isn’t it? Those who are appointed will be those who have gone to the Big City and made their mark. It’s thus an inherent failing of the method of filling that necessary revising chamber:

The House of Lords fails to represent broad swathes of the UK, the Electoral Reform Society has said.

The ERS found that 54% of the 564 peers whose residence is known live in Greater London, the south-east or the east of England.

The north-west of England, which accounts for 11% of the UK’s population, has only 5% representation in the Lords, it said.

The ERS figures also showed that 235 of the 816 peers in the Lords were former politicians, 68 were political staffers and 13 were civil servants.

Fill the place with tax leeches, all of whom necessarily moved to London to suck the blood politic, and that’s what you’ll end up with, isn’t it?

The chief executive of the ERS, Darren Hughes, said: “These figures reveal the appalling centralisation of parliament’s second chamber. This London-dominated house totally fails to represent huge swathes of the UK.

Yes, quite. The advantage of the hereditaries being that they did represent county opinion, no?

The House of Lords is “totally failing” to represent UK regions, with most peers living in and around London, according to a new report.

The Electoral Reform Society has released new analysis as MPs prepare to debate a petition calling for the abolition of the upper chamber – signed by 170,000 supporters.

Think of the traditional arc of a British family. The virile young thruster goes off to London to make their mark. Becomes, say, a captain of finance, a Cabinet Minister, a top judge. A peerage is granted. But at the same time some significant chunk of money has been made. Which is spent on that estate out in the country, which is where successive generations of that peerage hail from.

An appointed house will only have those London based thrusters. An hereditary one will contain those county, rural, interests.

The solution is thus obvious. Stick the landed interest back into Parliament and you’ll have representation of the land, won’t you?

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  1. So according to wikipedia London, South East and East make up nearly 43% of the countries population. I’m actually amazed that the differential isn’t actually greater than just 10 percentage points. I wonder how many peers moved into those areas so that they could do their job more effectively? Not coincidentally those three regions also have the highest median gross annual earnings which support’s Tim’s point that many of the most successful people (at least as measured by earnings) will be here.

  2. Wonder how true that is.
    A member of the family owned Sheffield Park*, family seat of the Earls of Sheffield. That’s the latest incarnation of the title. The 1802 one. The first one was a cousin of Henry VIII, but he got himself murdered. A couple more were Irish peerages. But the last one was Earl of Sheffield in the County of York & there were 3 earls. Last one died in 1909.
    Sheffield Park’s plumb in the middle of stockbroker country in Sussex.

    *Somewhat amusingly, Sheffied Park was owned by Arthur Soames, grandfather of Nicholas Soames. Until he got into debt & had to flog it. I’d shudder to think of fat bastard Soames, UK’s leading useless c*nt, as being a friend, but we do or rather did know each other. Nicholas is now far too important to acknowledge mere peasants like me. And it was fun to point out that his family couldn’t afford the hice and grinds I used to run around in as a kid, Lord of all I surveyed to the very horizons.
    Oh & said useless fat bastard was my MP when I briefly owned a house in Sussex. Very fortunate he never came canvassing. For him. He still owes me the ten quid he borrowed.